In just a few days, the Mardi Gras celebration will begin at Universal Orlando on Feb. 4. Universal Orlando looks to be expanding the culinary aspects of this year’s Mardi Gras celebration. Thus, in a few days, “foodies” will bask in the glow of festival food at Universal Orlando. Until then, the “Top Three Things” article consists of the three best things I ate this past week.
I took the journey less traveled this week to visit several Universal Orlando Resort hotel food courts. Back in December, Cabana Bay opened Shakes Malt Shoppe. I finally tried a shake there. I ordered a Salty Caramel Truffle shake. The ice cream tasted good. Also, this makes an excellent sweet treat for about $8 after the annual passholder discount.
In preparation for Mardi Gras, I went to have some New Orleans-themed cuisine at Pat O’Brien’s in CityWalk. I made this week’s “Top Three Things” list of two items I enjoyed that day.
For starters, I ordered a bowl of gumbo. The Mardi Gras Gumbo costs $6.95. The menu description reads, “Rich with New Orleans flavors, topped with white rice and shrimp.” This gumbo fails to be the best gumbo I have ever tasted. However, this qualifies if you want a solid representation of New Orleans-style gumbo. The shrimp provides a nice texture change and flavor to the gumbo. For under $7 before applicable discounts, this brings a reasonable value. Since, in a few days, a lesser version of gumbo will be served at the Mardi Gras food tents for about the exact cost, a trip to Pat O’Brien’s might be worth your time.
For dessert at Pat O Brien’s, I ate some bread pudding. The bread pudding here costs $7.95. Guests receive warm bread pudding with maple ice cream, pralines, and Dulce de leche. Once again, the portion size offers good value for this price point. The flavors of the bread pudding alone make a good dessert. The combination of the ice cream brings this table-service dining dessert up a few levels. Considering these cost about the same as the “Ube Ice Cream Bubble Waffle” cone from last year’s Mardi Gras, that makes a good value. Why would I compare this dessert from a New Orleans-themed restaurant to a Mardi Gras dessert from last year? For that answer, watch the blogs about Universal Orlando in the upcoming weeks.
Next week, Universal Orlando will be in full Mardi Gras mode. Expect many photos and blogs about Mardi Gras cuisine in the next few weeks. As always, eat like you mean it!
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